Now that we’ve made our New Year wishes and written down our New Year resolutions concerning our businesses, it’s time to put them into actionable practice.
One of those steps to take is effective shipping in the New Year.
When it comes to e-commerce shipping, ensuring that the sold goods actually reach the customer is only half the challenge.
Not only that, how the goods get delivered and the right packaging are very important.
The three smart shipping steps every Nigerian business owner must consider include:
- Minimize cost,
- Prevent damage, and
- Make customers happy
3 Smart Business Shipping Tips Nigerians Should Take This Year
- Minimize cost
How do you minimize costs? By weighing the size of goods.
Determine whether your carrier is billing based on dimensional weight or actual weight – typically, it’s the greater of the two.
Where possible, pack your goods in a manner that keeps them protected as well as small.
Reduce waste and improve efficiencies.
Preserve product integrity and save money by putting products in their proper containers.
Choose a portfolio of package sizes that will suit your business for right-size packaging that minimizes dead space and maximizes in-transit protection.
It reduces waste – and your carbon footprint.
It is advisable that you select and commit to a shipping company.
The reason for this is because having an account with a specific shipping company will streamline processes and result in discounts.
Do it right the first time.
By choosing the best packaging materials at the outset, you’ll ensure that your goods aren’t damaged in transit and that your customers are satisfied.
Doing it right the first time means you may win a repeat customer rather than a do-over shipment.
- Prevent damage
Perfect packaging is your best insurance against damage.
Please note that simply labeling a package as “fragile” doesn’t guarantee it will be treated as such.
Even some non-fragile goods are challenged by the wear and tear that comes during ordinary shipping and handling.
To ensure it will arrive safely, use the four-foot drop test (the industry standard for determining whether a package can survive ordinary shipping and handling impact).
Drop your package onto a hard surface from four feet up at five different angles: flat on base and top, the longest and shortest sides, and on a corner.
Also, try the full minute vigorous shaking test.
Don’t forget the details.
If your product is moisture-sensitive, slip in a silica gel packet to control humidity and absorb moisture.
If you’re including goods whose color could fade with light exposure, like silk and leather, put them in polybags, which will block harmful rays.
Also remember to choose materials (like tape, for example) wisely.
Be practical. Fillers like confetti and tissue paper might look nice, but if you use them to fill empty space, don’t expect them to do much damage control.
Your best bet for filling voids are inflated air bags, packing peanuts, or kraft paper, all of which actually help to absorb impact.
Pick the right sturdiness.
Choose materials based on weight, size, and other item attributes. Consider a master carton to protect your product – and your branded packaging – from damage.
For master cartons, if contents are less than 70 lbs., use double-wall corrugate.
For contents heavier than 70 lbs. use triple-wall corrugate. Properly seal everything by choosing tape at least 2 inches wide.
- Make a good impression
Packaging is a key branding element in stores and serves as a way to entice customers into purchasing a product.
Its value to eCommerce businesses shouldn’t be underestimated.
According to MeadWestVaco’s 2013 study on packaging data, “Packaging Matters,” 22 percent of consumers write online reviews that address packaging, and these encounters are said to influence behavior, from repeat buys to overall satisfaction.
Spread the word. Branded packaging adds a hint of professionalism and thoughtfulness to the overall user experience while helping to build brand awareness. Making it clear where a package is coming from can also reduce the rate of unclaimed packages.
Don’t frustrate the customer. Make sure your product is protected, but still easy for the customer to unwrap.
Don’t risk souring the initial user experience by sealing it in maddening packaging, and avoid hazardous situations in which a customer might inadvertently damage the product by attacking the package with too much zeal.
Good things come in small packages.
Your product should have adequate cushion, so the size and fragility of your goods will dictate packaging size.
But sometimes, smaller can be better – particularly in international markets.
When the buyer or distributor is responsible for related packaging costs — for example, collecting and recycling the materials, as is the case in certain countries — they’ll appreciate the savings.
Protect goods from exposure.
Despite the cleanest shipping environments, wear and tear during transit can cause dust and other particles to creep onto products.
Using clear plastic to prevent such contact can improve the customer’s experience on receipt.
Best of all, go green. It’s good for the environment and good for business.
To wrap up all I’ve said, the three smart shipping steps every Nigerian business owner must consider are:
- Minimize cost,
- Prevent damage, and
- Make customers happy.
Need help with shipping and courier services? Let’s talk.